Mac Pro 5.1 owner, make it your king of Mac with 2 D700s

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,801
5,622
Hong Kong
I really want to try this setup. However, my 7950 still works fine (except very noisy when loaded). Also, I already use all 4 HDD bay, can't follow your exact setup.

Anyway, will keep in mind that if the my 7950 die :mad:, I may give up 2 HDD slots and make my cMP a nice and quiet system. :)
 
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Cardo45

macrumors newbie
Dec 12, 2011
13
0
There were total of 26 downloads from the bios links.

I'd like those who tried can update your progress here.

I also put the bios download links to here since this thread is more completed.

Note: g095vmac.rom was for my Gigabyte HD7970, X095vmac.rom was for my XFX HD7970, both are reference design. I think you can use either one if you are sure it's reference design cards. Be sure using DOS drive in PC and perform atiflash. ATIWinflash got me some unpredictable error, so I would avoid using it.
Prince134, after reviewing this, I realize that I have a general understanding but there are gaps with my understanding in regards to specifics. This post making reference to bios (which I thought MAC doesn't use) and "using DOS drive in PC and perform atiflash". Not sure if this is in bootcamp or just changing the bios setting on the video card/GPU while using a PC (non MAC/OS X).

These are obviously processes that the more advanced followers of this thread are clearly familiar with and need no specifics regarding "how to". Therefore, I don't want to continue take this thread off focus with my "PC/MAC/DOS/OS X "101" type how to questions". With that in mind, would you be willing to put together a list of "How To" step by step instructions on installing the Dual HD7970 including, designing the cable, exactly where to plug it, and downloading and installing the bios. I'm sure that there are other's like myself out there that want to do this and would really appreciate and benefit from more detailed step by step instructions. Aslo, if you're willing to do that -- maybe we "you" can start a new thread titled "How to Install Dual D700 in oMP 4,1-5,1 for the non advanced users and other's interested in detailed instructions." Obviously the title can't be that long, but you get my point. Yeah -- this would create a different level of dialog, but it would also provide more feedback from those that were successful with this upgrade. I really want to do this, but I don't want to make a mistake due to a misunderstanding. There were a few in the past that put out excellent step by step instructions on the "4,1 -5,1 Processor upgrades" when it wasn't' certain if that was even possible. That's what I'm looking for. Please let me know. Thanks!
 
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Prince134

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2010
330
140
Prince134, after reviewing this, I realize that I have a general understanding but there are gaps with my understanding in regards to specifics. This post making reference to bios (which I thought MAC doesn't use) and "using DOS drive in PC and perform atiflash". Not sure if this is in bootcamp or just changing the bios setting on the video card/GPU while using a PC (non MAC/OS X).

These are obviously processes that the more advanced followers of this thread are clearly familiar with and need no specifics regarding "how to". Therefore, I don't want to continue take this thread off focus with my "PC/MAC/DOS/OS X "101" type how to questions". With that in mind, would you be willing to put together a list of "How To" step by step instructions on installing the Dual HD7970 including, designing the cable, exactly where to plug it, and downloading and installing the bios. I'm sure that there are other's like myself out there that want to do this and would really appreciate and benefit from more detailed step by step instructions. Aslo, if you're willing to do that -- maybe we "you" can start a new thread titled "How to Install Dual D700 in oMP 4,1-5,1 for the non advanced users and other's interested in detailed instructions." Obviously the title can't be that long, but you get my point. Yeah -- this would create a different level of dialog, but it would also provide more feedback from those that were successful with this upgrade. I really want to do this, but I don't want to make a mistake due to a misunderstanding. There were a few in the past that put out excellent step by step instructions on the "4,1 -5,1 Processor upgrades" when it wasn't' certain if that was even possible. That's what I'm looking for. Please let me know. Thanks!
I thought #71 have answered your questions.

If you don't know how to flash bios in PC, there are some threads in netkas.org can help. I guess you probably don't know what means "flash bios using DOS". I would suggest you can google some key words like "how to- bootable DOS". It will bring some thing that help you make bootable thumb drive with DOS. I don't; use bootcamp. I have a PC in hand so I can't help with that. Once you manage to flash bios to HD7970s. There is nothing more than handling 12V 6pin cables, but then it's explained already in the post.

Using key words "SATA to pcie 6pin" come up with these sellers for cables.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR4.TRC0.A0.H0.XSATA+to+pcie+6+pin&_nkw=SATA+to+pcie+6+pin&_sacat=0

I am not sure whether I can have more time to start another thread for more detail for you. I wish I can. Perhaps flashing bios is still your issue, once you get through it, read the thread again, it's not hard to follow.

May some one help explaining using DOS in bootcamp if that's necessary?
 
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Cardo45

macrumors newbie
Dec 12, 2011
13
0
I thought #71 have answered your questions.
No not quite. In short, in post #71 you did a really good job at explaining the purpose of the cable , vbe 7, and bios flash. You also explained if and why they would be needed if one used an external power setup.

Just to be clear, I really want to do this, but after reading this thread multiple times and others related - thorough clear instructions regarding this process are non existent. After reading post 6-9 mentioning things such as "killing boot screens", "erasing efi’s”, and "burn out your motherboard lanes or damage the SATA connector over the time" — without real instructions Im not willing to just dive in. For instance, a few photos of the custom cable aren't instructions on how to design one. It doesn’t tell me the name of the connectors being used nor is it telling me the exact pin locations regarding where my wires should be placed, or wire gauge. That’s what I need if I’m required to build, modify, or customize the cable. It's that type of detail that I’m looking for regarding the “bios flashing” as well before I risk damaging my machine.

Hopefully, sooner than later, a bright sharp person such as yourself or someone else will be willing to create a set of real instructions that will help to minimize any potential risk associated with this upgrade. Until then, I appreciate all of your help up to this point. I’ll continue to follow this thread and look out for “real instructions” on "how to do a Mac Pro 4,1-5,1 Dual D700 upgrade" as I continue to be inspired and excited with the wonderful work you've done with this upgrade! Thanks Prince134!
 
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Prince134

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2010
330
140
No not quite. In short, in post #71 you did a really good job at explaining the purpose of the cable , vbe 7, and bios flash. You also explained if and why they would be needed if one used an external power setup.

Just to be clear, I really want to do this, but after reading this thread multiple times and others related - thorough clear instructions regarding this process are non existent. After reading post 6-9 mentioning things such as "killing boot screens", "erasing efi’s”, and "burn out your motherboard lanes or damage the SATA connector over the time" — without real instructions Im not willing to just dive in. For instance, a few photos of the custom cable aren't instructions on how to design one. It doesn’t tell me the name of the connectors being used nor is it telling me the exact pin locations regarding where my wires should be placed, or wire gauge. That’s what I need if I’m required to build, modify, or customize the cable. It's that type of detail that I’m looking for regarding the “bios flashing” as well before I risk damaging my machine.

Hopefully, sooner than later, a bright sharp person such as yourself or someone else will be willing to create a set of real instructions that will help to minimize any potential risk associated with this upgrade. Until then, I appreciate all of your help up to this point. I’ll continue to follow this thread and look out for “real instructions” on "how to do a Mac Pro 4,1-5,1 Dual D700 upgrade" as I continue to be inspired and excited with the wonderful work you've done with this upgrade! Thanks Prince134!
I am actually as frustrated as seeing your frustration.:eek:

It's as simple as these steps:

-Buy two reference HD7970s. ($300-$400 total) on eBay. (should I call this a step?:))
-Flash the provided bios to the cards.
-Buy two SATA to PCIE 6 pin power cables on eBay, for the cables you have bought, cut one of the edge of the sockets in order to plug in the SATA port on motherboard.

And you are done.

It's not horrible at all. All risks involved have been addressed. Haven't you finished upgrading CPUs already by yourself? to some, that's perhaps even more scary handling the CPU and the sockets.:cool:

Using the linked bios you will have everything that have been prepared for you. You will have the "boot screen", i.e. the "EFI", and the tweaked volts and frequency. The only thing you may encounter is using ATIflash to flash bios. There are many places you can read through in this forum and including the mentioned other forums.

Food has been cooked, it's for someone who moves on....
 
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lexR

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2013
210
23
UK
I am asking because my Mac Pro was a 12 core X5660 (95W TDP per CPU) and the X5690 is 130W per CPU. My system was nowhere near silent event at idle the Mac Pro created a noise level that was very distracting to me.

Running Prime95 on all cores for 10 Minutes or more already created a noise level that reminded me of a vacuum cleaner. That was with a low end gfx card. I tried a lower clocked / under-volted 7970 as well but even one card after 5 Minutes of FCP rending created so much noise and heat in the system. I decided to try two 7850 instead but finally gave up because the Mac Pro case and fans are not designed to disperse that much heat within an acceptable noise level for me.

I even then tried it one more time and replaced all Fans with Noctua Ultra Low Noise versions with an external Fan controller.

So i guess silent is a fairly wide definition then. As long as you are happy with - it it's all good.

At the end I sold mine for a silent Mac Pro ;-)
Funny question, but have you checked all the fins on your fans as bizarrely I started having a bit of noise which only got worse and found that one of the fins had broken off!? No sign of the missing fin either, now it's replaced it super quiet even when I manually boost the fans via istat.

Just a thought
 

Prince134

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2010
330
140
Move one to 4X and same good performance

I moved one of the HD7970s to slot 3, while put the Inateck KT4004 4-port USB3.0 to slot 2. Looks better in the picture since both GPUs now got free air flow. More importantly, the performance does not change in FCPX 10.1. i.e. there is no real penalty if put one from 16X to 4X lane.;)


The SATA to pcie 6pin was extended to a little bit longer to better fit. There are extension cables sold on ebay too.
 

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flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,547
1,968
^^^^If you put the Inateck in slot 4 and the second GPU in slot 2 you'd also have free air space (double wide) above both GPUs. Hard to believe there's is no performance penalty with using a 4 lane slot for the GPU.

Lou
 

Prince134

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2010
330
140
Most people just don't know how much less power consumed with the GPU voltage down from 1.17v to 0.956V along with a little frequency reduction here. In my system (Mostly read with HWsensor), the power draw got a power of square less (0.8^2) than the original. I am no export of Electrical Engineering, but I heard from a friend of mine who said digital circuits in associate with clocks, the power consumption varies at power of square i.e. with a "^2" mark. I guess this could have confirmed his point.

nMP did that same thing so the machine can claim at 450W total power consumption. So the myth is revealed.

But Apple choose to forget how people like the 2009 Mac PRO case that built like a tank. With that same case and power supply, Apple should be able to bring much better performance perhaps at 5 to10 folds in 5 years. Moors low tells you 4.5 years should be giving you 8X of performance increase. Now apple spend that 4.5 years to shrink it to 1/8 of size at same performance. Completely opposite.

Whether you buy in or not, For a pro machine, we expect APPLE to deliver 8X performance 4.5 years later. I am sure nMP is Steve Jobs' idea. :p
 
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Cardo45

macrumors newbie
Dec 12, 2011
13
0
I am actually as frustrated as seeing your frustration.:eek:

It's as simple as these steps:

-Buy two reference HD7970s. ($300-$400 total) on eBay. (should I call this a step?:))
-Flash the provided bios to the cards.
-Buy two SATA to PCIE 6 pin power cables on eBay, for the cables you have bought, cut one of the edge of the sockets in order to plug in the SATA port on motherboard.

And you are done.

It's not horrible at all. All risks involved have been addressed. Haven't you finished upgrading CPUs already by yourself? to some, that's perhaps even more scary handling the CPU and the sockets.:cool:

Using the linked bios you will have everything that have been prepared for you. You will have the "boot screen", i.e. the "EFI", and the tweaked volts and frequency. The only thing you may encounter is using ATIflash to flash bios. There are many places you can read through in this forum and including the mentioned other forums.

Food has been cooked, it's for someone who moves on....
Thanks Prince134 !!
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,801
5,622
Hong Kong
Your post give me an idea that I can set a lower voltage to make a quiet graphic card.

Therefore, I re-calibrate my HD7950 to what I want. The card's default setting is 800/1250 @1.094V. I was OC it to 1075/1500 @1.15V. The card perform very well, but I need a more aggressive fan profile to keep it below 80C, which make it very noisy.

And now, I reduce the OC to 850/1250 @0.962V. I can now use a very low fan speed (27%) to keep it under 75C at full throttle. It made my Mac Pro an extreme quiet machine now.

Thanks Prince134. The Mac Pro now is exactly what I want. A very good balance between performance and noise.

Update 1: I further hex edit the BIOS, now it idle at 500/1250MHz (no more 300/150), it makes the computer run smoother under 2D environment (e.g. browser), and more importantly, NO MORE FLICKERING since the memory frequency will stay at 1250MHz. Down side, the card now draw around 50W under idle. If anyone interested in this BIOS, please feel free to use it and let me know if there is any problem. View attachment 962V1250.rom.efi.rom.zip (This is for Sapphire HD7950 Mac Edition Card)
 
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Prince134

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2010
330
140
Your post give me an idea that I can set a lower voltage to make a quiet graphic card.

Therefore, I re-calibrate my HD7950 to what I want. The card's default setting is 800/1250 @1.094V. I was OC it to 1075/1500 @1.15V. The card perform very well, but I need a more aggressive fan profile to keep it below 80C, which make it very noisy.

And now, I reduce the OC to 850/1250 @0.963V. I can now use a very low fan speed (27%) to keep it under 75C at full throttle. It made my Mac Pro an extreme quiet machine now.

Thanks Prince134. The Mac Pro now is exactly what I want. A very good balance between performance and noise.
I am glad you found the way to lower your GPU fan noise.

Yeah the linked tweaked HD7970 bios were having the similar low fan speed profile as well thanks to the lowered temperature from the GPUs. :)
 

RoastingPig

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,605
62
SoCal
i might sound misinformed but was the 7970 running at full pice 2.0/5.0 GT/s ever fixed. I remember a thread maybe 2 years ago about having to remove or solder something on the logic board of the card itself to get it to run full speed and not at 2.5 GT/s.
 

Ironjer

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2013
149
15
Hi guys, i'm planning move from 2 GTX 680 Flashed to 2 Radeon 7950 or 7970 i like to play games in bootcamp at 2560x1440 the 2GB is weak especially in BF4 can't run to ultra@60fps the game run 60 fps but drops constantly. In High run perfectly at 60fps fixed.

the question

i read 2 crossfire won't boot with BootCamp Mode you need move the bios switch, right?

currently the same pass with my GTX cards Windows 7 won't run BootCamp Mode neither EFI Mode you need install in EFI Mode (Manually GPT partition and press Option in Boot, Etc) Windows 8.1 because BootCamp mode doesn't work either.

will the same with Crossfire?

PD: SLI in Windows is Supported you need install Different Auto SLI software (Ex-HyperSLI)

Thanks and sorry for the bad english.
 

EdDuPlessis

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2014
339
8
Hi Prince.

So to be clear, each card was powered by:

1xPCIE 6 pin (75w)
1xSATA to 6 pin (54w)
PCIE slot (75w)

Is this set up still running successfully without trouble? Thank you.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,082
1,244
nyc upper east
wow great thread, just saw it now,

if wattage is a problem, i would get two x5675, thats the highest clock for 95watt tdp. but i didn't know you can go with just one power cable if you downclock, very informative.

So you bought a second hand Mac Pro and comparing the price of that to a new one. Obviously you gotta compare retail to retail.

And how do you buy two X5690's for 2000$ when the retail price for one is 1500$ on amazon.com right now?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004O0CXAW/ref=s9_simh_gw_p147_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=0FJMPK07T7ZECB415ERQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200422&pf_rd_i=507846
even if you compared the used market of the nMP, the oMP still comes out alot cheaper. since the nMP didnot meet EOL apple still sets the standard for pricing.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTEL-XEON-6-CORE-PROCESSOR-X5690-3-46GHZ-12MB-SMART-CACHE-CPU-AT80614005913AB-/191449418015?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c9346491f

i bought 2x 5650 and 1x 5675 for my pc builds and they been clocked around 4.3ghz for the last 2 months. fully stable.
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
211
Poland
Internally (directly) powered Dual R9 280X

Went a bit further. Feeded 2x 8-pin power directly from PSU and 2x 6 pin from logic board.
No need to UC and UV, some OC potential opened.
Graphs show maximum power usage with single CPU (3.20 Hex) and dual CPU (2x 3.46 Hexa) while doing Luxmark sala CPU+GPU benchmarks.
 

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stmp

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2012
51
0
NICE!

May we know how you were able to get both 8 pin power cables direct from PSU?

As I understand the only power coming off PSU that is easily available are the two combined sata/satapower connections?

Apologies in advance if I'm asking something obvious, looked through thread but did not find the answer.

Thanks and congrats on your sick setup!
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,517
1,636
Charlotte, NC
Well, last night an HD 7970 was listed for sale on MVC's store so I snapped it up pretty quickly.

I'm currently running an HD 5870 (although I already updated my signature :)) and I'm hoping for a noticeable difference in daily use and FCPX. I realize it's not THE fastest card on the block, but it's affordable, and very compatible from what I understand.

Congrats on your modifications with dual cards. I'm not quite ready for that just yet.
 

Prince134

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2010
330
140
Well, last night an HD 7970 was listed for sale on MVC's store so I snapped it up pretty quickly.

I'm currently running an HD 5870 (although I already updated my signature :)) and I'm hoping for a noticeable difference in daily use and FCPX. I realize it's not THE fastest card on the block, but it's affordable, and very compatible from what I understand.

Congrats on your modifications with dual cards. I'm not quite ready for that just yet.
For FCPX, HD7970 is your only bet. This is the only GPU working maximized with FCPX and Mac Pro 5.1. Put dual HD7970s (AKA D700s), they work the same way as with dual gpu nMP. It spend half of the time rendering BruceX comparing one HD7970.
So far a dual gtx 980 are not supported as same as dual HD7970 in FCPX, even though GTX 980s Luxmark tell you similar score at 4000-5000. They are just not compatable with HD7970s' rendering results.

Only in Octane render, you can feel GTX980's power (under less power consumption).
 

linuxcooldude

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2010
2,470
4,310
But Apple choose to forget how people like the 2009 Mac PRO case that built like a tank. With that same case and power supply, Apple should be able to bring much better performance perhaps at 5 to10 folds in 5 years.
Apple has consistently been faster each new Mac Pro in performance compared to the previous models.

Moores law tells you 4.5 years should be giving you 8X of performance increase. Now apple spend that 4.5 years to shrink it to 1/8 of size at same performance. Completely opposite.
Amdahl's law also tells us that adding more cores over a certain amount gives us diminishing returns. Along with trying to get higher clock frequencies that have more cooling problems. Their solution was to rely more on the dual GPU's using openCL.

Nothing is indicating they are getting the same or less performance then older Mac Pro on price/performance.
 
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dmylrea

macrumors 68030
Sep 27, 2005
2,697
3,097
No, it won't. There were not a D700 engine or non D700 engine at all. They are AMD OpenCL engine. I only got different name on Luxmark from D700 to "Tahiti XT prototype". The scores are within 1% variation. So It's totally safe to upgrade, because it's still "D700s". Just like nMP's D700s, they are actually still "HD 7970s".
Any HD 7970 OK or only certain ones? Also one site was comparing the D300/D500/D700 to normal cards, and said the D700 is a FirePro W9000, a very expensive video card with specs equal to the D700. Is a W9000 same as a 7970 6GB same as a D700?

Looking to upgrade my 650Ti 1GB card with something better, but don't want to break the bank. See HD 7970 3GB for $150-180. This will work in Yosemite 10.10.2 with no issues and allow me to upgrade to a 4K 60Hz screen in the future?
 

TitouDoc

macrumors member
May 24, 2004
35
5
Hi guys, i'm planning move from 2 GTX 680 Flashed to 2 Radeon 7950 or 7970 i like to play games in bootcamp at 2560x1440 the 2GB is weak especially in BF4 can't run to ultra@60fps the game run 60 fps but drops constantly. In High run perfectly at 60fps fixed.

the question

i read 2 crossfire won't boot with BootCamp Mode you need move the bios switch, right?

currently the same pass with my GTX cards Windows 7 won't run BootCamp Mode neither EFI Mode you need install in EFI Mode (Manually GPT partition and press Option in Boot, Etc) Windows 8.1 because BootCamp mode doesn't work either.

will the same with Crossfire?

PD: SLI in Windows is Supported you need install Different Auto SLI software (Ex-HyperSLI)

Thanks and sorry for the bad english.
Hello, so what about bootcamp and Windows 8.

I'm happily running a 7970 EFI and I'm interesting in adding another one...